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Predators, Cody Glass Acknowledge The High Stakes Of This Offseason



Photo of Cody Glass/Nashville Predators

On the heels of a career year with a new head coach, a new general manager, a new offensive system and an undergoing culture shift, 2023 was supposed to mark a fresh start for Nashville Predators forward Cody Glass.

Instead, Glass may have faced his toughest challenge to date.

The 25-year-old center played in just 41 games (31 fewer than the previous season) due to a combination of injuries and getting healthy scratched a number of times, and he even sat out the Predators’ six-game Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks.

Now, the Predators head into the offseason with possibly three openings in the lineup next season, and Glass says he’s devoting the summer to making sure one of them is his.

“I was sick to my stomach that I couldn’t play [for much of the season and the playoffs], and it was my own doing,” Glass said. ‘It’s tough and it’s something I don’t want to talk about and I wish  could be standing here proud saying I did everything I could. But I’m going to make sure this never happens again and it’s going to be a big summer because I have one year left on my deal and this is very important to me and hockey has been my life for so long, this is what I want to do and have fun doing it.”

Glass was forthcoming about his struggles grasping head coach Andrew Brunette’s new offensive system.

He admitted there was a bit of a learning curve for him in switching from the defensive-minded coaching philosophy of John Hynes where players would let the game come to them and make adjustments accordingly to Brunette’ aggressive puck-chasing scheme that’s played at breakneck speed.

“We play way faster, more speed, more aggressive than…last year we played more defensive, more battles, less skating,” Glass acknowledged. “So for me coming in, it was new. It was fun when you got the hang of it and I felt like I got the hang of it at the end of the year, which I wish I could have done at the beginning of the year.

“Now that I know more about Bruno’s game and system and stuff like that, I think working on speed is going to be huge. We’re a fast team, so I think I’m going to try and do as much as possible and work with our trainers and work with mine back home and do everything I can to get back into the player I am.”

Glass seemed to begin putting it all together in 2022. He totaled 14 goals and 35 points across 72 games, and he did most of his damage in the month of January playing in a more regular top-six role, logging five goals and nine points in 13 games as the Predators went 9-4.

He parlayed that mini breakout season into a two-year, $5 million contract extension, and he was expected to center Nashville’s second line in 2023 — the anchor of a nucleus of talented youngsters that included Luke Evangelista, Philip Tomasino and Juuso Parssinen, who were supposed to be molded into the Predators’ new core.

But somewhere along the way, adversity hit Glass hard.

He battled multiple injuries this season, and when he was in the lineup, he seemed get lost in the shuffle quite frequently. Instead of driving offense, it appeared at times that Glass was a bit gun-shy.

Many of the Predators other forwards also took a while to fully grasp Brunette’s new system. It wasn’t until mid-February that the team finally developed chemistry and began to play with some cohesion. Unfortunately for Glass, by that point the forward group appeared to be pretty well set and he was the odd man out.

But with Jason Zucker, Anthony Beauvillier and Kiefer Sherwood all set to hit unrestricted free agency, there could potentially be multiple spots up for grabs.

The Predators are certainly a better team when Glass produces offensively (they’re 12-4-2 when he cores a goal), and Brunette believes there’s a spot on the team with his name on it, if he comes to training camp in the right head space.

“I think he’s got to find himself a little bit,” Brunette added. “I think he lost a lot of confidence and I think he lost himself a little bit along the way. I think he lost a little bit of his reason why — why does he play? So I think he’s on his own little journey of finding that.

“He has the skills — he has all the skills in the world. … So for him, I think he needs a complete reset, find his reason why he plays and come to camp that he’s going to make the team. He’s going to have to put a really hard summer in working on his body, working on his game and his mental fortitude to come to camp and earn a spot.”

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_

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